1) Agent#1 requested the complete manuscript of The Runaway Courtesan!
2) Right now I would very much like to write an obscene word, capitalized, to describe my intense frustration. But instead I’ll keep my post Rated G. Anyway, today I slapped my palm over my forehead and cried out: ARRRRGGGGGG! So here is the story behind the tragic outcry: I was so busy this week I wasn’t able to send the full manuscript requested by Agent#1 right away. But I finally found the time today and hence went to the internet cafe to print my manuscript out. I triple checked that everything was correctly formatted. But I must have done SOMETHING wrong, because as the elephant-of-a-manuscript began to print, I noticed that some of the chapter headings were not formatted with the required “8 spaces down from the top”—but sometimes 3—other times 20—other times 10. Seeing some of the chapter headings at the very bottom of a page broke my heart. I wondered whether the agent would mind receiving a manuscript with bizarre chapter formatting. My agented friends/interning agent friends on Let The Words Flow warned me against it. So, I must spend another 30 bucks to reprint my manuscript properly. I will look at this as an investment. But after the initial frustration wore away, I became excited again. Whether Agent#1 signs me on or not, after reading The Runaway Courtesan, the very opportunity she’s given me of sharing my work with her is an honour in itself.
3) Yes, that is the photo of my manuscript, doubled-spaced, 311 pages long. Polished like it never was before. And so this leads me into my next rant of the day. I actually COULD have sent the manuscript to the agent right away. But do you know what caused the delay? While I thought everything was perfect, which was why I sent the rewrite of my partial to Agent#1 in the first place, my editor Val reviewed the last three chapters of TRC and was unsatisfied with it. I was like: Noooooo, I don’t want to know this now! But I’m glad I decided revise one last time. It was only after I read her critiques that I was able to see these chapters not through the eyes of the Omnipotent Writer, but as the Reader. From CH24 I was emotionally detached from my characters as I wrote. And Val picked up on this indifference in the flatness of my writing. And when I reread it with her edits in mind I saw exactly what she meant. It’s amazing how you can tell whether or not a novelist has her heart in her writing.
In the days that followed, scrambling to ready the manuscript as soon as I could, I went through one of THE MOST intense round of revising. It was one of the most frustrating, yet satisfying experiences I ever had. My schedule for last Thursday, Friday, Monday and today went something like this:
9:00am to 12pm-Write
12pm to 12:30pm – Eat Lunch
12:30pm to 8:00pm – Write
8:00pm to 8:30pm – Eat Dinner
8:30pm to 5:00am – Write
Very unhealth, I never want to go through this again. But I HAD to work this intensely because I needed to send the manuscript off within this week. It wasn’t all that tiring while I was working on my writing. I was having an adrenaline rush. So time flew. Yet, at the same time, it was emotionally exhausting. Like I said, the issue my chapters were having was that it was not emotionally engaging enough. So in order to fix this up I really had to put myself into the story. And the thing is, from CH24, The Runaway Courtesan gets pretty dark, with all its high drama. So from 9am until around 5am I was constantly forcing myself into the minds of either: 1) a socially condemned heroine in need of redemption, or 2) a tormented hero whose soul has been crushed by the woman he loves. Now I remember why I was so detached while writing these chapters. I think after getting through the previous 24 chapters, what with the characters tossing me about the emotional rollercoaster, by the time I reached CH24—I was pooped—I.did.not.want.to.deal.with.it. But I had to face up to it in the end. And now TRC is very complete at 86,000 words! I won’t be touched this story for the next several weeks because Agent#1 asked for an exclusive. This means I’m not allowed to query or send a partial/full of my manuscript to any other agent. I’m fine with that.
But then do you know what my editor says to me?–Go and work on my next book. *Faints* I think not, madam! However, I do have an idea for a new book. But it’s just too all over the place right now to begin writing. I need to develop it more. But I love the story idea, and it’s going to be another Regency noire. Now that’s all I’m going to say. Lips are sealed. I need time to get over TRC before I start a new book. Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles to start a new book! I’m somewhat intimidated. So much work was put into TRC I’m almost afraid I won’t be able to repeat this feat.
P.S. Thanks to everyone who has subscribed to my blog! It makes me very happy! *hint, hint*
P.S.S. Below is the soundtrack that got me through the last chapter of TRC. I’m also open for recomendations! I’d love to know what you guys are listening to while writing.